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The NZA
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Death to the critics! Hail to the CelebCult!

 

Give it a read, ebert's got a lot in there about modern journalism in general, but i agree with some of the finger-pointing - had to blame papers for putting ridiculous 500 word caps on reviews & such when the readership, as it were, seems to want trash-talk and colorful graphs.

 

I also found it hard to disagree with his notion that review shows shoudlnt be following celebrity gossip either, for what that's worth. Anyway, thoughts?

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Roger Ebert can stick his thumb up his ass. A proffessional critic is pretty much the most useless thing that a human being can actually be, there's no art or eloquence to reviewing movies, you're being paid to tell people how to think. Oh sure I rant and rave and have an affinity for saying "fuck" and "cunt" a lot in conjunction with coloful analogies but I communicate actual reasons why the film had quality or not.

 

Now Ebert does have a point, too much focus has been put on the celebs' personal lives and that's annoying and this Twilight bullshit has been a clusterfuck all over the place. The editor of the Kansas City Star actually let some twat fangirl (and I'm not generalizing that all fangirls are twats, I'm just simply saying that this one was) put her "corrections" in over the guy's review. The reviewer, whom I usually disagree with, made some very good points and she just kept countering with "well you haven't read the book" and "I disagree, Robert Pattinson is hot." But he can't say he hasn't been party to that kind of bullshit. Back when the original Friday the 13th came out his "esteemed" college Gene Siskell not only raved on about how horrible the movie was (which is fair, cause it was) but listed the cast members names as well as home addresses and basically gave the audience his blessing to go harass them. (Have I ever mentioned how happy I am that Gene Siskell is dead?)

 

Honestly though Ebert's mostly just bitching about tabloids, not so much movie reviews which from what I've read still stick pretty close to the actual movie and not so much the gossip.

 

Still, my point stands, you can pan movies and still have integrity whilst being entertaining at the same time. My reviews are certainly scathing and sarcastic but no good detail (no matter how minor) goes unmentioned. This is mostly just elitism by people who are crying because nobody cares about what they have to say anymore.

 

Seriously though, if something like this Twilight bullshit happens again though, I'm writing the paper. This brings a new low to the minsiscule amount of journalistic integrity the media barely has anyway.

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hah, alright, so im surprised to see you disagree yet kinda agree towards the end-like.

 

didnt know about that friday the 13th shit, that's silly. dont get me wrong now, there's a line here - have you ever read the Comics Journal? its pretty insightful when its not being as avant garde as print allows - after preacher, i collected most ennis interviews & books, and they did like a 20 page expose that asked a lot of great questions. my beef with them came in the form of the next month or so's "test" to see how indie you were: i, at the time only venturing slightly past vertigo (i dont know about you, but indie shit was impossible to find in miami) was basically told i should stick to reading spawn and wizard. that's fine, but what always takes me back was the sect of questions about indie reviewers: it went on about how much indie cred you have for actually trying to host small press writers/artists at your house when theyre in town, but took it further and said (paraphrased) "you understand that, in some instances, the reviewer is actually more important than the creator." its been years, and ive never wrapped my head around that statement, it felt like a new depth of shallow. ugh. ive had a hard time reading it since...that, plus the writer from the mag who actually sent me that ennis issue for free years back, asked for a specific savage dragon issue. took me a year or so to find at a con, and when i mailed them to ask where i should send it to, i was told the dude was gone and if i did send it, theyd just mock me before tossing it. its hard to read that publication since these things. anyway.

 

yeah, i felt ebert's rant was more specifically aimed at the pop culture obsession than actual movie critics, namedropping aside, and i guess i dig the parts that echoed captain america's anti-paris hilton shit right around the time i dropped civil war: frontline. still, with more money & hype going into entertainment than ever before, i reserve some sentiment for good reviewers helping me get an impression before i try things out or miss out on a diamond in the rough. i may disagree with ebert on some of his sentiments like how he thinks games cannot be art, not so much where they currently are in storytelling (which i agree, we've a long way to go, my opinion) but almost by definition of the medium - that strikes me as an outdated opinion. still, his bit on food reviewers giving the people what they want with mcdonalds pieces rung a bell.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Roger Ebert can stick his thumb up his ass. A proffessional critic is pretty much the most useless thing that a human being can actually be, there's no art or eloquence to reviewing movies, you're being paid to tell people how to think. Oh sure I rant and rave and have an affinity for saying "fuck" and "cunt" a lot in conjunction with coloful analogies but I communicate actual reasons why the film had quality or not...

I have to respectfully disagree. I think there's deifnitely a craft and eloquence to being a good critic. Ebert is the original head movie geek, and if nothing else you should at least respect the man for that. Harry Knowles and the litter of other online movie based websites & blogs couldn't lick Ebert's dirty taint when it comes to forming insightful and entertaining comments on films. Ebert is a wealth of cinema knowledge and more often than not has something at least interesting,, if not remarkable, to say about a movie. If you doubt me then just listen to his Dark City commentary.

 

As for the article itslef, I think he's definitely taking on pop-culture, of which film is a huge part of. So I don't think he's really jumping out of his area of expertise--not like he's commenting on NASA or the economy or politics. Basically he's a newspaperman at heart and he's pissed at how the newspaper business is shifting more towards the celebs than the art they're supposed to be famous for creating. Basically he's saying if Godfather II came out today a film critic would be more expected to write up the fact Pacino got paid "X" amount of dollars as opposed to DeNiro and who each of the actors were last seen "canoodling" with rather than discuss the film's story, cinematography, musical score and basically all the things that make it a film and a piece of art as opposed to just another excuse to espouse celeb gossip. And I agree with him that it sucks. I read film reviews for insight into the film, not info on who's screwing who.

Edited by Mr. Hakujin
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Eloquence doesn't denote intelligence, it denotes the ability to use big words to sound smart. Like this guy and especially this guy.

 

And Ain't it Cool News and CHUD are both horrible resources for reviews as they're written by the kind of guys you would buy weed off of in junior high. And yes, Ebert is good at reviewing movies, but that's not the point. Ebert like so many other pros seems to think that his opinion is law which is what I hate about the pros. They are paid to complain about things, they don't perform any sort of service other than giving the average movie-goer a general idea of whether they want to see a movie or not which really only actually ever works if the movie is either really good or really bad. I respect his integrity to not sink to the level of AICN and CHUD but he really needs to get off the soapbox there are other critics who are just as good at his job as he is without being so stuck up their own ass.

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Not sure why this turned into an Ebert hate-athon, but I find the guy to be one of the few genuinely intelligent mainstream movie critics left and I'd say he's about spot on about the celebrity culture taking over. It's not news (though those new AP restrictions are some bullshit) but it ain't wrong either.

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I'm not so much hating the player here as hating the game. Ebert just represents the picture of the most over-blown critic. He is intelligent and insightful and usually pretty fair and despite his stance on things other than movies I find him to be balanced. I just hate the industry with a great passion.

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Roger Ebert on:

 

Titanic 4/5

 

"James Cameron's 194-minute, $200 million film of the tragic voyage is in the tradition of the great Hollywood epics. It is flawlessly crafted, intelligently constructed, strongly acted and spellbinding."

 

Once Upon a Time in the West 2.5/5

 

There is also, unfortunately, Leone's inability to call it quits. The movie stretches on for nearly three hours, with intermission, and provides two false alarms before it finally ends.

 

He's no* infallible

 

 

* that was a scottish accent

Edited by alive she cried
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No one's calling the guy infallible, but I'd put his record against any other mainstream movie critic out there any day. The guy is more intelligent than most but also knows the audience that he is talking to (and unlike many "intelligent" film reviewers, he knows when a movie is meant to be simply entertaining).

 

And those are kinda unfair examples. Ebert was all of 27 when he reviewed Once Upon a Time in the West so you can't really hold that against him too much. Particularly considering that Leone was critically under-appreciated for years when many of his great movies were first released.

 

And people seem to forget that Titanic was a genuinely good movie before it was ruined by 14 year old girls, "I'm king of the world" parodies, and Celine Dion.

 

Also, Ebert's reviews are out of four stars, so 2.5 out of 4 for Once Upon a Time in the West isn't that bad.

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14 year old girls and Celine Dion didn't make the only person in the movie who even tried to act Kathy Bates.

 

I forget the guy's name but he kinda looks like John Landes, I've always found him to be pretty spot on when it comes to reviews. And Ebert's accepting of fun movies is one of his traits that puts him on my liked list, but he's still not God's gift to moviegoers.

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but he's still not God's gift to moviegoers.

 

No of course he's not. No one is (except Diane Lane, maybe). But he is one of the few high-profile newspaper columnists who has been doing the same thing for decades now and can comment with experience about the changes to the way the system is working now. Like I said, none of what he talks about is news but if the AP is really putting those restrictions and encouraging its writers to include more gossip news then I think he's got a valid reason for writing about it now.

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Well now those are just fightin' words.

Bring it. Just know I subscribe to Connery's philosophy of fighting in Untouchables : you bring a knife, I bring a gun; you bring a Busey, I bring a Nolte.

But seriously though, Leone's man w/ no name trilogy is classic. But when it comes to Stoic faced, non-talking badassery Eastwood spanks Bronson all damn day long.

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But when it comes to Stoic faced, non-talking badassery Eastwood spanks Bronson all damn day long.

 

But that's...I mean...why...how can...COME ON, MAN! That's just so high on the scale of obviousness that I can't see why you actually took the time to type the words! Is there anyone in that category that Eastwood doesn't spank? Seriously, anyone? In the history of the world? You can't hold that against the guy!

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Bring it. Just know I subscribe to Connery's philosophy of fighting in Untouchables : you bring a knife, I bring a gun; you bring a Busey, I bring a Nolte.

But seriously though, Leone's man w/ no name trilogy is classic. But when it comes to Stoic faced, non-talking badassery Eastwood spanks Bronson all damn day long.

 

Busey over Nolte? Come on, now you're just being ridiculous.

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But that's...I mean...why...how can...COME ON, MAN! That's just so high on the scale of obviousness that I can't see why you actually took the time to type the words! Is there anyone in that category that Eastwood doesn't spank? Seriously, anyone? In the history of the world? You can't hold that against the guy!

Well, yeah, I too think it's obvious Eastwood defined that category. But how can one talk about the suck that is OUATITW w/out comparing it to Leone's other films? And when you compare ...West to other films you gotta compare Eastwood to Bronson, and Charlie just couldn't cut the mustard.

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Have you seen Celebrity Rehab? Busey is still crazy, but he's mellowed out now and writes self-help acronyms non-stop. Nolte still has that crazy hobo-like edge about him.

 

Haven't you seen "I'm With Busey?"

 

Busey was pretty fucked up when he was high on cocaine, but once he got high on Jesus... maaaaaaan. He scared the fuck out of John McCain on Leno a few years ago and that man was in a Vietnamese prison camp.

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